The season of exams are on and hundreds of students who wrote them and their anxious parents will be evaluating the results with mixed emotions, some elated and some disappointed. Exams are a stepping stone to a potential career but they do not completely decide your life. #MoreThanMarks is a campaign by The Logical Indian to bring out real-life stories of ordinary people who became successful despite their marks and to stress on the fact that you can be successful and lead a happy life even if you are/were not an academic topper.
I feel ashamed for what I did, till this very day. I was studious in school, used to take notes sincerely and scored more than 70% per cent in every subject. It was during class 8 that things changed. I had never felt so helpless.
I was a student of a well known and popular school in South Bengaluru. My parents were mostly elated on seeing my test results in every parent-teacher meeting. However, when my school introduced Sanskrit in our syllabus in 2008, it went all downhill for me. To make matters worse, Sanskrit became the first language to study. I scored well in Kannada which was our first language earlier, but now as the school authority made it mandatory to take Sanskrit, the pressure started building.
I remember spending more time learning Sanskrit, than any other subject. It was a struggle to understand one basic sentence. After taking the very first test, I remember fear crawling under my skin. I knew that expecting a 70% mark in the subject was like trying to find water in the desert, you can only hope for it.
My worst nightmare came true when I received my result. I had failed in Sanskrit. I was numb and confused, Scared and frightened. I had never failed in my life.
My best friend Karthik, who also failed in the same exam, suggested that we commit suicide. We did not know what to do. Back then, getting a beating or worse, a silent treatment from parents was the worst form of punishment one could think of.
So we brought Tincher (a liquid that is used to cure wounds) and drank in the classroom, during the lunch break, when no one was around. To our surprise, it turned out to be a stupid plan, as nothing happened, except me vomiting my stomach out. On the other two occasions, we bought liquid mosquito repellent and rat poison to end our lives. However, our fate had other plans for us, and we survived all our attempts.
After the first test, I studied hard, but after seeing the result of the second test, it seemed that the efforts were not adequate to lift my marks. I failed again. This time Karthik and I were sure that as our suicide plans turned out to be a huge failure, we would simply run away from our parents. Karthik and I both ran away after school hours. We both took a bus to Sringeri town ( 320 km far away from Bengaluru). We survived on our pocket money and took shelter in a lodge for three days.
On the third night, I called one of my school friends to get an input of the situation back at my home. I was scared when I got to know that my parents had lodged a missing complaint against me. I got scared and all at once decided to return. We both returned on that very night. Upon my arrival, my parents welcomed as if nothing had happened.
After that incident, I took tuition’s for Sanskrit and topped the class in my final tests. During my grade 10 boards, I scored the highest from our class. I scored 95 out of 125. In junior college (11 & 12th standard) I opted for science with Sanskrit and English as my language preferences. I scored decent marks in all the subjects and again topped in Sanskrit. Later on, I completed my engineering and now work for a media house.
You can share these real-life stories of people who are eventually successful despite academic failures and struggles with anyone you know may get motivated learning about it.
Went back memory lane? Want to share your story, write to us at [email protected], remember to hashtag #MoreThanMarks.